Exit Interviews Can Help Identify Reasons for Company Attrition

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Executive recruiter gives tips on how to get best results from exit interviews to help spot company attrition trends and potential areas in need of improvement.

Executive recruiter gives tips on how to get best results from exit interviews to help spot company attrition trends and potential areas in need of improvement.

"Conducting exit interviews in the right manner can be an invaluable management tool for companies," says Ann E. Zaslow-Rethaber of International Search Consultants (ISC), a leading executive search firm that specializes in the sales and marketing industry on a nationwide as well as international basis. "By finding out the "real" reasons why employees leave can be helpful in identifying trends in a specific area of the company or improvements that need to be made to current practices or policies. Zaslow-Rethaber gives the following tips to receive the best results from your exit interviews:

  •     Choose the right timing -- While it might seem natural to conduct the exit interview right before or immediately after an employee's departure, studies show that the most valuable information can be collected after an employee has distanced himself from his or her former position. Conducting a telephone interview one to two months later gives the employee enough time to reflect on the experience and perhaps discuss the problems they were having at the company more easily and with less emotion.
  •     Use a neutral party -- a Human Resources representative is the best person to conduct the exit interview or better yet, outsource to a third party. An outsourcing vendor will usually receive a better response rate and will be perceived as more objective than a company representative. Also, by using a neutral party, an employee will feel less inclined to hold back in fear of the information getting back to their former management or coworkers.
  •     Keep questions specific and information anonymous -- for best results, ask a standard set of questions for each interview and sort them by specific areas that can be measured later such as leadership, company processes, pay, benefits, etc. Also, make sure employees understand that their information is anonymous and will be used only to identify attrition trends and provide suggestions on how the company can improve current practices and policies.
  •     Don't ask personal questions -- an exit interview is not the place to gather information on specific individuals or to hear about employee grievances. Focus only on systems and general company practices that can be improved upon.
  •     Combine a questionnaire with interview for best results -- since former employees may not always be candid by phone or in person, it is best to also send the employee a mail-in anonymous survey that can capture additional information not covered in the exit interview. A small incentive is another way to ensure higher participation of both the questionnaire and exit interview.

For more tips on conducting exit interviews, please check out ISC's website at http://www.iscjobs.com. ISC specializes in helping large companies fill nationwide staffing needs in a short amount of time by BLITZING a market on behalf of a client. To find out more about ISC and the five-star service they deliver, please call them at (888) 866-7276.


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Ann E. Zaslow-Rethaber

Cher Knebel
Communications by Cher
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